“With gas prices going up, people are reluctant to venture out for an evening of social drinking,” said Norman Soderquist, an official with the DABC. “Instead, they are staying home and drinking themselves into a stupor. Unless we do something to reverse this trend, all Utah drinking establishments will soon go out of business.”
Details have yet to be worked out, but state officials say they are considering numerous incentives to encourage drinkers to hit the private clubs and belly up to the bar.
“We’ll soon be mailing coupons to known drinkers,” said Mr. Soderquist, who confessed to restricting his own drinking binges to out-of-town business trips. “Some coupons will offer across the board, or rather, across the bar discounts on all beverages. But we also want to encourage patrons to go beyond their comfort zone and experiment with different drinks.
“For example, I know folks who will stick with their favorite drink come rain or come shine. Bourbon drinkers, in particular. To get them to try something else, we’ll offer special 25-percent-off coupons on various scotch whiskies. We’ve come up with what I think are some cute ideas, like ‘Bored with Jack Daniels? Try Johnnie Walker.’ Things like that.”
When pressed for more details, Mr. Soderquist revealed that the liquor commission will also do away with pre-measured shots.
“The paltry one-ounce shot rule has wreaked havoc with the martini trade. I’ve been told that the martinis you get in private clubs offer no more kick than a sip from those little sacrament deals. So we think there’s an untapped customer base as regards the imbibing of martinis. We’ll leave the proportions up to the discretion of the bartenders.”
The question naturally arises about the position of the Mormon church on the proposed relaxation of drinking laws, and especially on offering incentives to nonfollowers of the Word of Wisdom.
“Interesting question,” said Mr. Soderquist. “As a matter of fact, the Brethren have been very active behind the scenes trying to come up with measures to get drinkers out of their homes and into the clubs. When folks are drinking in the privacy of their own homes, it’s very hard to monitor their intake. When you pour your own drinks, your drinks contain a much higher alcohol content. There are rumors, which are, in my opinion, totally unsubstantiated that folks opting for the cocktail hour at home rather than at the club means that time allotted for family home evening is compromised.
“You have to remember that the Brethren are eminently pragmatic. They showed me spreadsheets that prove beyond a doubt that alcohol consumption is skyrocketing. It’s entirely a consequence of the skyrocketing prices at the pump.”
Mr. Soderquist acknowledged that price-reduction gimmicks will only go so far. Plans are already in place for various kinds of ride-share schemes; in addition, designated drivers will no longer have to sit by and twiddle their thumbs while their associates get snockered.
“The private clubs will provide various services to pamper the designated drivers, everything from foot rubs to free laser hair removal,” said Mr. Soderquist.
In the killing-two-birds-with-one-stone department, Mr. Soderquist went on to say that scientists are perfecting a new technology that will capture the fumes of serious drinkers and convert them to usable energy, thus reducing the need for traditional carbon fuels.
“Because it might perhaps be awkward to fit drinkers with Breathalyzer-type devices, our scientists are looking at innovative ways of capturing the circumambient fumes. We now have filtering mechanisms, embedded in specially equipped headwear worn by servers, which capture enough alcoholic fumes to power either a rotary bristle toothbrush or a personal vibrator for a full five minutes.”
In other news, Mitt Romney escorted lame duck George W. Bush to a private meeting with church leaders during the eminent world leader’s fund-raising trip to Utah. Mr. Bush reportedly expressed sympathy for the church’s bad press on proxy baptisms and volunteered to get baptized before heading back to Washington on Air Force One.
According to Mr. Romney, our next Vice President, Mr. Bush got a few chuckles from the First Presidency when he observed, “Hey, everybody says I’m dead already, so I suppose you might as well dunk me right now.”
D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.